BJP seeks talks details

Imphal, Jan. 11: The BJP today demanded that the chief ministers of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam should inform the people of the respective states about the details of the ongoing peace talks between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M).

"Let the people of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh know what is going on between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M). The chief ministers of the states should tell the people about the progress of the talks," Tapir Gao, the BJP general secretary in-charge of Manipur and Nagaland, said here today.

He is in Imphal since Wednesday to attend a BJP meeting, which was held yesterday. He also demanded that the UPA government bring out a white paper on the ongoing talks.

Talking to reporters today, Gao said the BJP would support a settlement between the Centre and the NSCN (I-M). However, the people had a right to know about the progress of the talks and also the proposals made for the settlement. "The UPA government is headed by the Congress and the Congress is ruling in the three states. They should not hide the details of the talks as peace is in the interest of the people. The people have the right to know what kind of proposal is being made by the Centre as a solution," he said.

The demand came after reports that Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde consulted the chief ministers of the three states recently on the progress of the ongoing talks as the Centre is preparing to sign a peace deal in the next couple of months.

Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh has been maintaining that though the Union home minister sought his co-operation in finding a solution to the NSCN (I-M) issue, no details of the Centre's proposal to the NSCN (I-M) was disclosed to him.

Manipur deputy chief minister Gaikhangam, who is also the home minister, yesterday said the state government was not informed about the progress of talks. "We cannot comment on the Centre's offer to the NSCN (I-M) as the state government was not given any information on this," Gaikhangam said.

The Centre consulted the three chief ministers as the NSCN (I-M) is demanding integration of Naga inhabited areas of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh with Nagaland.The BJP also demanded that elections to Nagaland Assembly be held on schedule.

The BJP has no representation in the current Nagaland Assembly. This time the party is hoping to ensure representation in the House. Gao will leave Imphal for Kohima tomorrow.

where he would be attending the Nagaland BJP's core committee tomorrow to chalk out strategies of the party for the February 23 election.

Responding to a question, Gao said the BJP had not decided whether the party would go it alone or have electoral ties in Nagaland.

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